More Emails in the Spam Folder is an Opportunity for Smart Marketers
Email volumes are up, which means inboxes are jammed more than ever with email offers. Not so coincidentally, emails being blocked or sent to the spam folder are higher than ever. According to Return Path's latest Global Email Deliverability Benchmark report (full disclosure: I work for Return Path), one out of every four emails never reaches its target destination due to inbox providers tightening their spam filtering and more people resorting to other means besides unsubscribing to deal with their inbox deluge. Some marketers’ email programs may continue business as usual, but smart marketers will use this as an opportunity to stand above the crowd. Here's how:
Know where your email is going. A lot of marketers rely on response metrics to know if their emails are being blocked or sent to the spam folder. Be more proactive by using seed lists — i.e., addresses that you inject into your email list and measure their placement — to monitor your inbox placement rates in real time. Do this by setting up your own seed addresses or using third-party seed list monitoring.
To use a seed list effectively, send a test campaign prior to a large, important campaign to see if there are any existing issues that need to be resolved first. During the email campaign send, disperse seed addresses throughout the campaign deployment so you can monitor and react in real time if a deliverability issue happens anytime during the send.
Monitor your reputation. Just as everyone has a credit score, every email marketer has a sending reputation that inbox providers look at to determine whether to accept their emails. If your sender reputation score is considered "subprime" — i.e., high enough to have your email accepted but not low enough to reject — your marketing emails may end up in the spam folder. You can monitor the most important reputation metrics by looking at your complaint rate, unknown user rate, spam trap rate and mailing infrastructure.